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National Dance in South Africa and Hong Kong

National Dance in South Africa and Hong Kong

5 April 2011

Heather Rees reports from abroad

National Dance in South Africa  

Amongst my varied and interesting examination sessions in South Africa was a charming day of Folk Dance Studies. The pupils of Minette de Klerk had produced informative projects and collages to support the background discussions of their chosen countries. The dances performed were from England and Holland. The projects and theory covered a range of subjects from Shakespeare to Guy Fawkes, the artist Joseph Turner to Buckingham Palace and the Crown Jewels for England, and for the Netherlands such subjects as Van Gogh, Queen Beatrice, clogs and bicycles. The enthusiastic approach of all candidates was delightful. Veronica Esterhaizen covered the remainder of the National Dance Examinations. We met up, albeit briefly, in Johannesburg when she covered the sessions for fellow examiners, Annebelle Whal and Wilcarina Yeates. All three South African National Dance examiners are enthusiastically prepared to introduce the subject (and/or re-vitalise the interest) to any ‘would be’ National Dance teachers, whether Folk Dance Studies, Grades or Revised  Vocational syllabi.   

National Dance Workshops in Hong Kong 

National Dance has a very large following in Hong Kong and proof of this fact was to be seen in the attendance at the workshops in December. Organized by Budlet and fronted by T. K. and Mai Lau and Keung, Yuk-Hay Tammy. A Mexican Folklórico Workshop was run in tandem with the prestigious and highly successful Bauhinia Cup International Dance Invitation Championships 2010. Auda de los Cobos was invited, along with Heather Rees to join the panel of adjudicators at the competition and then stayed to cover workshops in Mexican Dance and Tap Dance. The Mexican Dance workshops were extremely well supported, Auda teaching the  authentic traditional dances of several states  of Mexico (many of which are include in  the book, DVD and CD packages of Mexican  Workshops held in the UK in 2005 and 2007). The dancing at the workshops was a joy to watch and very well received. The majority of the dancers taking part had been trained in the ISTD’s National Dance syllabus. Many have the Associate qualification and most have taken the Vocational examinations.  Auda de los Cobos, T. K. and Mai Lau share the honour of having been winners of the Isabel  Haxell Cup in previous years.   

Heather Rees


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